With so many community NHS staff working for Hounslow – some in offices and some on the move – keeping everyone in touch was a real headache. Often the problem was finding the right members of staff, and in an emergency, this was critical.
With an inherited mix of outdated voice and data services, NHS Hounslow’s network simply wasn’t up to the job. So they were delighted when they were selected to become home to one of Europe’s largest polyclinics – with a whole host of medical and healthcare services in one place. It provided the ideal opportunity to upgrade their telecoms infrastructure too.
Polyclinics provide a whole host of healthcare and medical services – all under one roof. Clinics, tests and referrals are fully joined up. So if a GP refers a patient to a specialist, they can be seen quickly, and in the same building. The ‘Heart of Hounslow’ polyclinic is a stunning £18 million achievement.
Working together for better patient care
After talking to NHS Hounslow about their unique requirements, we recommended a flexible IP Multimedia solution, made possible by using an open, standardised and user-friendly Next Generation Network. With IP Multimedia, voice and multimedia applications can be transferred quickly, without using an old-fashioned phone system. Each member of staff has their own unique four-digit login, so they can access their voicemail, email and systems wherever they’re working. Every person, in every department is electronically linked. And staff can access any notes of files they need. Instantly.
One challenge was the sheer number of healthcare services and clinics now available at the Heart of Hounslow. A room could be needed as a children’s clinic one day, and a podiatry clinic the next. But with IP Multimedia, it’s easy to set up specific phone lines and PCs that mean a room can change function according to the staff logged in at that particular time.
Better teamwork, better patient care
Now, working as part of an efficient team is much easier. With our IP Multimedia, staff can:
See who’s in
Presence indicators show when doctors are online and able to take calls, or respond to messages. This helps cut delays and get answers to patients’ questions faster.
Keep in touch
Logging into the phone system from any location gives staff access to personal settings and directories. Their own unique number stays with them, so colleagues can always call, no matter which handset or office they’re using.
Instant Messaging allows staff to work online together and share documents in real time. Daily appointment lists can be downloaded and case notes securely transferred across departments.
All of which helps the entire team reduce patient waiting times, speed up patient diagnosis and treatment. So more people can be helped, while costs to the NHS are reduced. And it’s not just NHS Hounslow that’s been impressed. Government ministers are now planning to build a total of 150 polyclinics across London alone, so it would seem they’re also impressed with the results seen at Hounslow.
NHS Hounslow case study